Prime Minister will declare open the first-ever Khelo India University Games in Odisha today through video conferencing. The multi-disciplinary sporting event will take off with a mega launch at the Jawaharlal Nehru Indoor Stadium in Cuttack.
The event will be attended by several dignitaries and sportspersons, including Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and Union Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju.
As many as 3,400 athletes from 159 universities across the country will vie for top honours in 17 disciplines, including rugby which is among the six-team events.
With 191 athletes, the Panjab University in Chandigarh and 183 athletes, the Guru Nanak Dev University in Amritsar will comprise some of the largest contingents. The sports disciplines will include archery, athletics, boxing, fencing, judo, swimming, weightlifting, wrestling, badminton, basketball, football, hockey, table tennis, tennis, volleyball, rugby and kabaddi.
Athletes are looking at the Khelo India University Games with the aim to make a mark not only for their institutions and themselves but also to catch the eye of talent scouts. In the time to come, it would become an important rung in the ladder that the country’s student-athletes seek to climb.
The attempt is to make the Khelo India University Games an aspirational competition for India’s youngsters with twin objectives of helping them find the balance between sport and education.